The ASX 200 rose for a second successive day led by technology, materials and bank shares. At the closing bell, the index was 1.5 per cent or 104 points higher at 7,287, its best performance since May 13.
Zip Co (ASX:ZIP) soared 14 per cent at $0.97, followed by shares in Novonix (ASX:NVX) and Block (ASX:SQ2), pushing the technology sector higher with a gain of 4.6 per cent. Materials came in second best, while utilities were the only sector in the red thanks almost entirely to AGL.
Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) skyrocketed 40.2 per cent to 68 cents after securing approval to immediately import six infant formula products into the US to help relieve shortages. The news led A2 Milk (ASX:A2M) to jump 10.4 per cent to $4.77 as the best performing stock in the ASX 200, while Australian Dairy Nutritionals Group (ASX:AHF) rose 34.9 per cent to 8.5 cents.
Meanwhile, in the loser’s corner, Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) fell 4.5 per cent to $0.96 while Appen (ASX:APX) and Elders (ASX:ELD) also lost ground.
Iron ore prices rose on improved sentiment in China, helping BHP (ASX:BHP). The index’s largest company added 2.8 per cent to $44.91, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) added 1.3 per cent to $19.85, while Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 0.4 per cent higher to $113.80.
Other resource stocks were mixed with coal miners worst off. Yancoal (ASX:YAL) dropped 7.4 per cent to $5.63 on news that its biggest shareholder Yankuang Energy is considering growing its stake in the coal miner, which may result in the delisting of Yancoal shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Investors also learnt that India is set to reopen old coal mines and increase output by 100 million tons, which sent New Hope (ASX:NHC) down 5.3 per cent to $3.60, making it one of the worst performers of the session.
In other news, Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) jumped nearly 5 per cent higher at $1.38 after mutually agreeing with Tesla to extend the termination date for its binding offtake term sheet to June 6.
Telix Pharmaceuticals’ (ASX:TLX) firmed 7.2 per cent to $4.62 after its prostate cancer imaging agent Illuccix® was granted a pass-through in the US with full reimbursement available from July 1.
Major banks closed higher, bar Commonwealth (ASX:CBA) which fell 0.1 per cent to $106.56. Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) led the sector, up 2.8 per cent to $188.12, while ANZ (ASX:ANZ) rose 0.4 per cent to $25.77 despite civil proceedings against the bank for allegedly misleading its customers about the available funds and balances in their credit card accounts.
As expected, AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) dropped 1.4 per cent to $8.75 after withdrawing a proposal to separate AGL Energy, with sentiment further eroded by news, chairman Peter Botten and CEO Graeme Hunt had both handed in their resignation.
At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 1.5 per cent or 104 points higher at 7,287.
Growthpoint Properties Australia (ASX:GOZ) exchanged contracts with Dandenong GSB to purchase Government Service Office Dandenong in Victoria for $165 million. Shares closed 1.7 per cent higher at $3.92.
Biome’s (ASX:BIO) Activated Probiotics® range is set to hit the shelves at Priceline stores next month after the company inked a new distribution deal, expanding its presence to 370 pharmacies nationwide. Shares closed 10 per cent higher at 11 cents.
Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) increased its takeover bid for DGO Gold to $2.25 per share, noting that its improved offer is “best and final”. Shares closed 4 per cent higher at $1.35.
Australian Unity Office Fund (ASX:AOF) received a non-binding takeover bid from Aliro Group to acquire all shares for $2.45 per share. Shares closed 11 per cent higher at $2.43.
Health insurer nib (ASX:NHF) will hold off from increasing health insurance premiums for another two months to further support those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shares closed 0.3 per cent higher at $7.38.
Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) entered into an agreement with Gascoyne Resources to acquire the Mumbakine Well project located contiguous to Capricorn’s Karlawinda gold project in Western Australia. Shares closed 6.8 per cent higher at $3.78.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) announced that Cather Simpson was appointed as a non-executive director, effective from Wednesday. Shares closed 2.8 per cent higher at $18.50.
Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:PAR) appointed Marco Polizzi as chief executive officer, effective from Wednesday, replacing Donna Skerrett who served as interim CEO. Shares closed 4.6 per cent higher at $1.26.
Ashley Services (ASX:ASH) is set to purchase a 75 per cent stake in Linc Personnel, a West Australian company that provides labour hire and recruitment services within the oil and gas industry. Shares closed 5.2 per cent higher at 71 cents.
Ventia Services (ASX:VRT) signed a contract with Transpower NZ to provide electrical and telecommunication services to New Zealand’s national electricity grid. Shares closed 0.6 per cent higher at $8.13.
Archer Materials (ASX:AXE) successfully fabricated 15 nm features reproducibly and reliably by developing and implementing several advanced lithographic processes. Shares closed 13.9 per cent higher at 82 cents.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 128 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 32 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 175 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 100 points when the market next opens.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 1.9 per cent.
Japan’s Nikkei has gained 2.2 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1863.73 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.4 per cent higher at US$134.45 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 2.8 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.96 higher at US$116.03 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.87 US cents.